for-infinitival relative clauses - PhilPapers" /> $for$<$/Em$>$-Infinitival Relative Clauses}, pages = {59--81}, journal = {Natural Language Semantics} } ">
Natural Language Semantics 20 (1):59-81 (2012)

This squib presents two puzzles related to an ambiguity found in for-infinitival relative clauses (FIRs). FIRs invariably receive a modal interpretation even in the absence of any overt modal verb. The modal interpretation seems to come in two distinct types, which can be paraphrased by finite relative clauses employing the modal auxiliaries should and could. The two puzzles presented here arise because the availability of the two readings is constrained by factors that are not otherwise known to affect the interpretation of a relative clause. Specifically, we show, first, that “strong” determiners require the FIR to be interpreted as a SHOULD-relative while “weak” determiners allow both interpretations (the Determiner-Modal Generalization). Secondly, we observe that the COULD-interpretation requires a raising (internally headed) structure for the FIR, while the SHOULD-interpretation is compatible with either a raising or a more standard matching (externally headed) structure (the Raising/Matching Generalization)
Keywords Relative clause  Modality  Infinitival clauses  Quantification
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11050-011-9075-9
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 64,221
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Strange Relatives of the Third Kind.Alexander Grosu & Fred Landman - 1998 - Natural Language Semantics 6 (2):125-170.
Modals as Distributive Indefinites.Hotze Rullmann, Lisa Matthewson & Henry Davis - 2008 - Natural Language Semantics 16 (4):317-357.

View all 8 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Ingredients of Instrumental Meaning.Lilia Rissman & Kyle Rawlins - 2017 - Journal of Semantics 34 (3):507-537.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Overt Nominative Subjects in Infinitival Complements in Hungarian.Anna Szabolcsi - 2009 - In Marcel den Dikken & Robert Vago (eds.), Approaches to Hungarian 11. John Benjamins. pp. 251–276.
‘That’-Clauses and Non-Nominal Quantification.Tobias Rosefeldt - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 137 (3):301 - 333.
A Note on the Interpretation of Adjoined Relative Clauses.Richard K. Larson - 1982 - Linguistics and Philosophy 5 (4):473 - 482.
Quantificational Arguments in Temporal Adjunct Clauses.Ron Artstein - 2005 - Linguistics and Philosophy 28 (5):541 - 597.


Added to PP index

Total views
25 ( #440,033 of 2,455,387 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #449,037 of 2,455,387 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes